Toshiko had a weakness.

It had been there since she was a child and her grandfather, a wise and wrinkled old man who would travel all the was from Japan to see his three grandchildren on Christmas, would press a tiny gold-wrapped sphere into the palm of her hand and tip her a knowing wink. The man who would speak to her in only Japanese so she would learn quickly. His upturned eyes filled with amusement, his quick smile.

Those days were some of her best. She carried that natural shyness that small girls with pretty faces do all the way to adulthood, which was not a good thing. But her grandfather, the most constant man in her life after her father died, had given her something different to bring with her to adolescence and beyond.

Chocolate truffles.

In Tosh's flat, under the bed on the side she slept on, a box of truffles would sit apprehensively. Sometimes unopened, other times half done, still others in a perpetual state of near-emptiness. That box was never absent, however, and never completely empty.

An expensive weakness that didn't really matter because she had no one to spend money on anyway. Why not give herself a small, constant treat? Not like she didn't deserve it.

And it wasn't like she would pop one in her mouth every day. She had one of her truffles, her secret delight, after a particularly nasty day at work. After a particularly scathing comment from Owen. Sometimes after a night of watching them all have fun and joke while she sat on the outside, fiddling with her computer, maybe giving Ianto a casual glance and smiling when he dramatically rolled his eyes.

The warm feeling in the pit of her stomach, the endorphins flowing though her veins like alcohol, numbing and comforting at the same time. The slow melting in her mouth and the velvety texture coating her tongue. It made her relax just thinking about it.

And when Christmas came around, along with the annual name draw, she had of course pulled the trickiest name there. Jack.

So while she pondered how to get something for the man who had everything and she played with the scrap of paper that bore his name until it was worn through in places, she didn't even begin to think who would have her name.

When Christmas rolled around, she handed over the wrapped box (which held a sparkling sliver pocket chain, something old-fashioned enough to go with Jack's wardrobe but new enough that it showed she had made an effort) it had been a freeing experience. And then she saw it, sitting innocently on her desk.

A golden box wrapped in only a silver bow, a box that she recognised from countless trips to the store and so many dollars spent. A box her beloved grandfather had left on the mantel after he left to return home, despite her mother's protests (Albeit, half-hearted protests). A box of her truffles.

She approached the desk with quick, excited steps. Her tongue darted out over her lips, leaving a thin layer of moisture in its wake. She picked up the box in both hands and stared at the ornate bow.

A card was tucked lightly into the side of the bow, and she pulled it out slowly. It was heavy, official stationary, and lazy cursive writing etched into her mind the point. Someone knew. Someone cared enough to know.

- I was wondering what I could possibly get you. Forgive me for spying?


A grin broke over her face, happiness welling up inside her. When she turned her head to see where the Welshman was, she caught his gaze, his posture relaxed against the pillar he was leaning on. Typical suit with a ridiculous tie. Bright green with tiny reindeer whose noses' flashed red.

Tosh placed the card and box on the ground, and then wrapped her arms around Ianto with genuine glee. He smiled graciously at her.

"I'm glad you like them."

She returned to her desk, for once ignoring the whirring programs and bleeping machines, slid the bow off the box and opened it. The golden wrappers shone up at her, beckoning silently.

She picked one up, turned back to her friend. Two outsiders with common denominators. Two people who passed each other every day but were still strangers. And she vowed to fix that.

Toshiko pressed the tiny sphere into the palm of his hand, feeling so much like her grandfather, and nodded her thanks.